Today’s Climate: December 8, 2009

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EU Raises Stakes on Emissions Reductions (Financial Times)

The European Union withdrew an offer to increase its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target on Monday because it said similar offers made by many nations in the past month were inadequate to prevent significant climate change.

UN: 2000-2009 Likely Warmest Decade on Record (AP)

This decade will likely end as the warmest since record-keeping began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top 5 warmest years, the U.N. weather agency says.

Obama to Cite Energy Efficiency in Jobs Growth (Bloomberg)

President Barack Obama will today propose upgrading infrastructure, promoting home-energy efficiency and helping small businesses as ways to spur job growth, an administration official said.

EPA’s Carbon Proposal Riles Industries (Wall Street Journal)

Industry groups vowed to fight an Obama administration proposal to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide, even as some companies prepared to comply with restrictions they regard as inevitable.

US Patent Office Fast-Tracks Green Tech Applications (Dow Jones)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced a new pilot program fast-tracking the review of green technology patents. Starting Tuesday, the office will expedite examinations of proposed technology focused on the environment, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ambitious State Actions Push US Toward Climate Goals (Yale Environment 360)

Limited federal action does not mean the U.S. is standing still: More than half of the 50 states are already taking steps to reduce emissions on their own.

Deforestation Threatens Kilimanjaro Ice Cap (Reuters)

At the foot of Africa’s snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, images of the mountain adorn the sides of rusting zinc shacks and beer bottle labels, but the fate of the real version hangs in the balance.

UK Mulling Zero Tax for Corporate Electric Cars (Business Green)

The UK is reportedly considering removing all tax on company-owned electric vehicles to increase corporate demand for greener vehicles.

Audit: Poor Oversight Threatens Illinois Weatherization Program (New York Times)

Federal stimulus funding has provided $242 million to Illinois to weatherize more than 25,000 homes, but poor oversight of that work puts the funding at risk and in some cases puts the residents of poorly weatherized homes in danger, an audit report warns.

Developers Baffled by Chinese Wind Farm Rejections (Reuters)

Project developers are baffled by a U.N. climate panel’s decision to block 10 Chinese wind farms from receiving carbon financing, saying the move could slash investment in Chinese wind and other forms of clean energy.

Global Warming Skepticism Linked to Republican Shift (CNN)

A rise in skepticism among Americans over global warming is mostly due to changes among Republicans, according to a new national poll.